I just spent a whirlwind weekend with Mr. Wonderful’s family at Disney World. I played human jungle gym for his niece and nephew. I o.d.ed on the overstimulation that is the Disney machine. And I experienced first-hand the joy that is bargaining with a 4-year-old.
Going to Disney with kids was fun – sort of like how Christmas is a totally different gig when there are young’uns around. Only a 6-year old girl would think it was totally worthwhile to stand in line for an hour to get Goofy’s autograph. I have to respect that.
This weekend was also a crash course in Stepmomming 101.
I adore Mr. Wonderful’s 4-year-old daughter. She’s a pretty low-maintenance, good-natured kid. But she’s 4. This means that at times she screamed because the sky was too blue or some such thing.
Sometimes, she wanted to hold my hand or swim only with me. Other times, she screamed because I looked at her. Again, she’s 4.
First of all, I highly recommend a weekend with an exhausted and over stimulated 4-year-old for any idealistic, moon-eyed person who romanticizes about having kids. I love this kid, yet I suddenly feel super vigilant about taking my pill at the exact time every day. Down to the minute, people.
I felt like an understudy. At today’s performance, the part of Charming Young Mother will be played by Cha Cha. Walk around Disney or through the airport with a cute 4-year-old holding your hand and people will assume you’re some sort of parental figure.
I found myself wondering if I was pulling it off, or if other parents could tell with one dismissive glance, “Oh, she’s sooo not that kid’s mom.”
I also found myself looking at other parents and realizing, “OMG, these people look like me.” For some reason, I could easily identify the drunken frat guy, despite the fact that he was carrying a princess backpack and was, regrettably, sober. And that mom with the three screaming kids? Weren’t we in Econ together? When did we get old enough to be responsible for kids?
Oh, right. The rest of the world didn’t lose their desire to procreate, didn’t drop it in the parking lot one day, never to be found again. That was just me. It never showed up in the lost and found.
Truth be told, the weekend was exhausting, physically and emotionally. And dealing with the realities of a child put a new spin on my interaction with Mr. Wonderful. He’s used to this; I’m not. Not that I’m against it, but it’s new. I hope he doesn’t confuse my trepidation and teensy sense of ohjesuswhathaveigottenmyselfinto with regret or the desire to run for the nearest exit. It’s just a lot to process.
If I didn’t take it seriously, this would be cake. But I do take it seriously. So I’m thinking about it seriously.
I mean, when’s the last time you gave a tutorial on the finer points of wiping from front to back? Seriously. I think I’m entitled to be a little shell-shocked.